Your State may Owe you Money – find out here

Image via Creative Commons, Blatant World’s Flickr photostream. (Source)

Image via Creative Commons, Blatant World’s Flickr photostream. (Source)

There are billions of dollars sitting out there and each state is trying to return it – they just aren’t very good at marketing.

To make things worse, spammers have gotten a hold of this information and decided to hold it for ransom. Generally you are asked to pay $29.95 for the promise of an official report indicating whether or not you have unclaimed money.

Well, I have a better idea. How about you keep your money and go straight to the source? Last week, after getting the thousandth email with this form of subject line, I decided to look around for a decent resource that would actually tell me if there was “something” owed to me.

Before I link you to the free search that your state developed, what is considered unclaimed property? Well, the definition varies somewhat from state-to-state, but here is a good guideline:

  • Inactive savings and checking accounts
  • Safe deposit box contents
  • Uncashed checks, money orders and gift certificates
  • Unclaimed wages
  • Stock shares, dividends and mutual funds
  • Bonds and interest
  • Utility deposits
  • Paid-up life insurance policies
  • Uncashed death benefits checks
  • Estates
  • Court ordered distributions
  • Deposits or payment for repair or purchase of goods or services
  • Credit checks or memos, or customer overpayments
  • Unidentified remittances, unrefunded overcharges
  • Unpaid claims, unpaid accounts payable or unpaid commissions
  • Credit balances-accounts receivable, checks written off, employees bond
    buying and profit sharing

So, here we go. Is there money sitting out there with your name on it? Let’s find out. Click on the link for your state. Do what it asks and in most cases, you will have an answer pretty fast (in minutes).

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

If, after reviewing your state’s program, you are not totally satisfied, you can visit Unclaimed.org. I’ve been through their site thoroughly and everything they link to is government related (Spam free). Aside from the direct links above, they may be the only solid place on the Internet for secondary information. Here is how they describe themselves:

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) is a non-profit organization affiliated with the National Association of State Treasurers. Members represent all states and the District of Columbia. Each year NAUPA holds several meetings and seminars to provide professional education opportunities for state unclaimed property policymakers, administrators, auditors, and holders.

You can also visit MissingMoney.org. This is another legitimate site that can run queries for you.

Common types of unclaimed property include:

  • Bank accounts and safe deposit box contents
  • Stocks, mutual funds, bonds, and dividends
  • Uncashed checks and wages
  • Insurance policies, CD’s, trust funds
  • Utility deposits, escrow accounts

With this site, unclaimed property does not include real estate property.

All sites mentioned here are members of the NAUPA. That means…

The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) is a non-profit organization affiliated with the National Association of State Treasurers. Members represent all states and the District of Columbia. Each year NAUPA holds several meetings and seminars to provide professional education opportunities for state unclaimed property policymakers, administrators, auditors, and holders.

So, in short, I have no idea why every human in the U.S. wouldn’t click on their state link above and see what comes up. Every state WANTS to give you your money, you just need to know how to look it up. If anyone does claim money through these programs, let us know in the comments.

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